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MWSS-271 Headquarters hits the field

Marine Corps News


Story by Cpl. C. Edmond Flurry

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C.(Dec. 5, 2002) -- Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 recently completed an Aviation Ground Support Operations Center Exercise.

The AGSOCEX allowed '271's headquarters the opportunity to test their proficiency in a field environment.

"Essentially what we did here is deploy our headquarters to get an idea what we'd need in a deployed environment," said 1st Lt. Dana S. Demer, an operations officer for MWSS-271. "It's pretty impressive what we can bring to the field to sustain ourselves for six months."

The Workhorse of the Wing used 85 Marines to conduct the exercise. The Marines not only set up a living and working environment here, but also conducted training evolutions such as setting up a forward aerial refueling point at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., and nuclear biological and chemical, and other training at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bouge, N.C., said Demer.

"The AGSOC is the hub, we can run anything from something this small to a base camp with 3,000 Marines," said Demer, a native of Moorestown, N.J. We're looking at all the gear we would need out there. The best way to do that is to actually go out and deploy, validate your list and find out what you left in the rear. That way you'll know to bring it next time."

Not only did MWSS-271 create areas for work and billeting using tents and camouflage netting, they also brought a taste of home to their Marines.

"We've done everything out here, even provided our own water and power," said Demer. MWSS-271 went so far as to provide facilities for hot showers and chow in their field set-up. "It's a real force multiplier to get a hot shower in the field."

Marines said they enjoyed the opportunity to test their field capabilities, and get a taste of life in the field.

"It's awesome, this is what you sign up to do," said Demer. "You really didn't join the Marine Corps to set behind a desk."

"This gave our Marines an opportunity to do what they do," he added.

"It's a change from the regular daily routine," said Lance Cpl. David B. Jones, an embarker for MWSS-271. "I like it actually, being able to do something the way that you think a Marine does." "You have to work out here differently than in the office," said Jones, a native of Birmingham, Ala. "You learn to work together more, there's a lot of camaraderie."

Learning in general was one of the main missions of the exercise.

"We've been exercising the functions we'd use in a deployed environment," said Demer. "We came out here anticipating this to be a learning experience. I think learning has occurred."

The exercise also shows the capabilities the support squadron's headquarters can have in the field.

"This is the same kind of set-up we'd have not only for us, but for other squadrons as well," said Demer. "When the (air combat element) deploys somewhere, we'd have the ability to provide everything they need."

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